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How to help your teenager move into adulthood

Father teaching his son how to drive

ALPA PROD | Shutterstock

Mia Schroeder - published on 09/19/23

It can be rough to deal with their rebelliousness, mood swings, and contradictory actions, but we must learn how to help our teens enter adulthood.

Adolescence is a period of transition and adaptation to adult life physically, psychologically, and practically. Teens pass through a difficult phase of finding their identity and independence. It’s important for parents to provide their adolescent children with the tools they need to mature and move on to adulthood.

Psychologist Enrique Pacheco shared the following tips with Aleteia readers so we can help our teens in their transition to adulthood.


We should support our teens as they try to figure out their career goals — without pressuring them to make decisions based purely on economic reasons. Rather, let’s help them explore a path — whether at college or in the workforce — that they will enjoy and that will present an opportunity for growth.


Learning to manage responsibilities at home is important. We should insist that our teens help with family chores, whether big or small. For example, we can ask them to clean their room, wash the car, or help with the dishes. Once they’re finished, they can be free to do what they want.


Another possibility is to help our teens get a job or start their own small business, while also teaching them how to manage their money. We might suggest that they contribute a token amount of their earnings to contribute toward household expenses. This will help them to have a clearer and more realistic idea of what family finances are like.


It’s also a good idea to make basic, common-sense recommendations will help them stay safe. For instance, we can recommend our teens be careful using their cell phones in public since criminals sometimes use such opportunities to steal phones or other devices. Likewise, we can teach our teens to keep an emergency kit in their vehicle and to choose safer routes when traveling.


Learning to be independent doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process that takes time and happens in stages.  First, teens need to learn new skills with supervision. Then they can begin to assume certain responsibilities with parental support. Only then will they have the tools needed to become fully responsible and independent.

As parents, we should gradually relinquish control over our adolescents’ decisions as they move closer to adulthood.

Adolescence is the time when teens move toward adulthood. By allowing them to make decisions and allowing them to learn from their mistakes, teens will eventually learn to become self-motivated and responsible adults.

Keep in mind that the world has changed. The experience of adolescence isn’t necessarily the same for our teens as it was for us. Regardless, it is important to provide our teens with love, understanding, and acceptance.

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